Code Of Ethics
These principles are designed to promote and maintain the highest standards of professional service and personal conduct among all NTPA members (hereafter referred to as “members”). These principles are meant to provide guidance and to be adhered to in a manner consistent with good ethical judgment, professional conduct, and avoidance of even the appearance of impropriety. All members are required to pledge adherence to these principles when admitted to membership and annually with membership renewal.
A. Members practice within the boundaries of their competence, which derives from relevant education, training, acquired knowledge and professional experience. In cases with elements outside their competence, they either consult with or refer clients to appropriate colleagues.
B. Members continually update their knowledge of educational options, both in breadth and in depth, through such activities as attendance at professional conferences, continuing education and professional reading.
C. Members are familiar with and adhere to state and federal laws relevant to their practices.
II. POTENTIAL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
A. Multiple relationships exist when a member has a relationship with a School/Program that may create or appear to create a conflict of interest. Such relationships include, but are not limited to, owning or serving as a consultant to or board member or employee of a School/Program. Members are expected to avoid multiple relationships that could reasonably and foreseeably give rise to actual or perceived conflicts of interest, interfere with the ability of the member to provide objective service, embarrass the student or family, or compromise the confidence or trust basic to the client relationship. For example, a teacher or employee in a school can ethically tutor a student at that school, but not if that student is graded or evaluated on the tutored material by the tutor in a teacher or school employee role. A school employee who is also a tutor or tutoring business owner must not refer students to her own company exclusively and may not enter into an exclusive arrangement with the school or school system where she is employed. It IS permissible for the tutor/employee to include her services on a list of paid services that includes competitors. In no case should the tutor/employee offer incentives or coercion for the student to choose her company over competitors.
B. When such a multiple relationship exists, the member must disclose in writing the existence, extent and nature of that relationship. This disclosure should include a consent form for clients to sign, indicating that they have been informed of this additional role and agree to proceed with the services.
C. When a member provides services to a client in his/her capacity as a member of another licensed profession or professional organization, he/she acts in accordance with the ethical code of that profession or organization and within its guidelines regarding multiple relationships.
D. Members shall avoid not only conflicts of interest but also the appearance of conflicts by being forthcoming with clients and the NTPA.
III. RELATIONSHIPS WITH STUDENTS AND FAMILIES
A. Members treat students and their families with respect and decency, with sensitivity to their special strengths, values and needs.
i. Members are aware of and sensitive to cultural, individual and role differences, and do not discriminate or condone discrimination based on age, race, gender, sexual orientation, language, religion, ethnicity, disability, national origin or socioeconomic status.
ii. Members shall not engage in any unethical or criminal behavior on behalf of a student or family.
B. A member’s primary obligation is to assess, make recommendations for, and represent each student accurately and fairly based upon a professional evaluation of the circumstances, requirements of the case, and needs of the student.
C. During the test preparation process, with appropriate consent, members may communicate with other professionals, including school counselors, faculty, and other staff, consultants, and therapists, in addition to the student’s parents/guardians.
i. Members maintain confidentiality of records, notes and client information and disclose confidential information only with written consent and on a need-to-know basis.
ii. Members provide substantially consistent information to the student, family members and all other professionals involved in the process.
D. Members are clear and forthright about the nature and scope of their services.
i. Members disclose fees and financial arrangements in writing before services begin.
ii. Members neither guarantee scores nor outcomes.
iii. Members inform clients of their confidentiality policies.
E. Members retain their principles in all social media (Twitter, Facebook, Listservs, etc.) interactions and do not include identifiable personal client references there or in public presentations. Testimonials written by the client or the tutor with the client’s written permission are acceptable.
IV. PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT AND INTEGRITY
A. Members shall maintain the highest levels of ethical and legal conduct while teaching, tutoring, and counseling students. Members will scrupulously avoid even the hint of impropriety.
B. Members will ensure that instruction with minors is conducted in spaces or settings with the explicit approval of these students’ parents/guardians.
C. Members will communicate directly with minors only through approved channels with the explicit consent of these students’ parents/guardians.
D. Members will not engage in romantic relationships or entanglements with active students, regardless of age.
E. Members will support the highest levels of academic integrity. Under no circumstances will members participate in plagiarism or other forms of cheating, including but not limited to writing papers, doing homework, or providing answers to assignments for clients.
V. RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHER NTPA MEMBERS
A. Our organization and members subscribe to and practice ethical, honest, and respectful behavior in all actions with our client families, the public, and other NTPA members. We are responsible for the integrity of our own actions and the actions of our associates and employees.
VI. ADVERTISING AND OTHER PUBLIC STATEMENTS
A. Members will not make disparaging public remarks about any other member, either verbally or in their print or electronic communications.
B. In dealings with the public, including paid or unpaid advertising, members represent themselves honestly, avoiding misrepresentation of what they say or refrain from saying. They claim special competencies only if such competencies are demonstrable. Members do not contribute to heightening anxiety surrounding admission.
C. Members are familiar with and strictly adhere to the NTPA Logo Usage Guidelines.
OBSERVANCE AND ACTIONS
A. Violating this Code of Ethics is grounds for suspension or expulsion from the National Test Preparation Association.
B. All observed ethical violations should be brought to the attention of the NTPA Vice President for Ethics and Professional Practices.
C. A member’s first ethical violation will accrue a consequence ranging, based on severity, from a warning to immediate expulsion.
D. A member’s second ethical violation within a twelve-month span may result in immediate expulsion from NTPA.
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